Muji Materials Garden by Ladies & Gentlemen

Ladies & Gentlemen’s MUJI Materials Garden Was a Match Made in Minimalist Heaven

For this year’s NYCxDESIGN, MUJI teamed up with Jean Lee and Dylan Davis of Ladies & Gentlemen Studio on an installation to commemorate the Japanese lifestyle brand's ten years in the U.S. — the brand’s first-ever collaboration with an American designer. Called MUJI Materials Garden, the installation was comprised of seven vignettes showcasing MUJI collection mainstays alongside the materials from which they’re made.
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Ladies & Gentlemen and Robin Stein Team Up on a Still Life Inspired by Moholy-Nagy, Not Memphis

You know all those contemporary still-life clichés, like pastel backgrounds, cactuses, and Sottsass-approved geometric shapes? When New York photographer Robin Stein recently teamed up with Brooklyn design studio Ladies & Gentlemen for a studio visit (coming soon) and impromptu creative photo shoot (pictured after the jump), the longtime friends decided to toss all those ubiquitous tropes out the window and do something different.
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Ladies & Gentlemen Studio’s Form Studies

When we first interviewed Jean Lee and Dylan Davis of Seattle's Ladies & Gentlemen Studio back in 2012, they revealed that a sizable chunk of their design process happens on and around the shelves that line every room in their home studio and serve as a kind of 3-D inspiration board.
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“Etude upholstery fabric by Finn Sködt.” L&G: “We love this photo for styling reasons: Just drape fabric over a shape and call it gooood.”

Ladies & Gentlemen Studio: Scandinavian Design Gallery

Books about mid-century Scandinavian design are a dime a dozen. Jacobsen chairs, Aalto stools, Juhl sofas — you know the drill. But if you've ever been to a design museum in Stockholm or Helsinki, you probably also know that some of the coolest objects made in the region date back to a more unexpected era: the '80s, when good things weren't just happening in Italy, believe it or not. A few months back, we spotted some examples of said amazingness on the Instagram feed of the Seattle design duo Ladies & Gentlemen Studio, which they'd noted were pulled from a vintage book they'd rediscovered while cleaning house. And so this column was born, a place for people to show off strange, beautiful, and mostly out-of-print volumes that wouldn't otherwise see the light of day. Browse selections from Scandinavian Design Gallery in the slideshow here — complete with caption text plucked from the book and sporadic Ladies & Gentlemen accompanying commentary — then let us know if you have a gem of your own to share.
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What inspired your Natural Selection series? “The Aura is about the relationship between a light source (the bulb) and the resulting lamp, highlighted by a simple brass ring.”

Ladies & Gentlemen Studio, Furniture and Product Designers

After Jean Lee met Dylan Davis while studying industrial design at the University of Washington, and after a string of successful school collaborations led them to start dating, the two of them did a semester abroad together in Rome. “Those were the good times,” laughs Lee. “We saw all these independent studios there, and designers working more as artists, and it was really inspiring for us. That wasn't happening at all in Seattle.” And so after they graduated in 2005, Lee went on to work for a messenger bag company based in Philadelphia, while Davis joined the team at Henrybuilt. They did a small trade selling vintage finds on Etsy for awhile, and eventually started repurposing those objects into new designs as a hobby. But what finally led them to join forces as Ladies & Gentlemen in 2009 were the first signs that they might be able to find in Seattle what they experienced in Rome after all: Not only had studios like Iacoli & Mcallister and Grain begun to flourish by making and selling their own work, their new coalition Join was gathering together local designers to collaborate and exhibit together. “Jamie Iacoli asked us to contribute to a show, and were like ‘What the hell? Let’s do it!’”
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Knauf & Brown, furniture designers

Formafantasma, Ladies & Gentlemen, Rich Brilliant Willing: The list of design partnerships that began in art school is pretty endless. But rare is the pair who knew and liked each other enough to not only register at the same university at the same time but also to enroll in all of the same classes, “to keep each other on our toes.” That’s Calen Knauf and Conrad Brown of the emerging Vancouver-based design studio Knauf & Brown talking; the two met through skateboarding more than a decade ago. Brown was a photographer and Knauf a graphic designer, and once they graduated from their industrial design program at Emily Carr, the natural thing to do was to go into business together. “It’s a good partnership,” they say, “because we both have different strengths, but fairly similar aesthetics.” What exactly defines that aesthetic is still a bit up in the air, considering that the two graduated only last year. But what’s emerged so far has shown an emphasis on simple and honest natural materials, like ash and marble, as well as a healthy sense of humor that occasionally surfaces in the form of performance art. For “despite how much of our lives we dedicate to design and our studio, we still place a high priority on having as much fun as possible,” they say. “We both still skateboard, and regularly get up to no good.” Read on for a deeper look into their brand-new practice.
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Week of May 28, 2018

A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: great moments in color-blocking, an Instagram-induced existential crisis, and an iridescent shower that lifts a humdrum apartment renovation into the design stratosphere.
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The In-Demand Architect–Turned–Furniture Designer to Know Now

Giancarlo Valle didn’t set out to design furniture. A trained architect, his practice moved first indoors to interiors, then even further to the things that fill them. An interest in objects initially manifested in the collecting of furniture from across eras, but soon, collecting wasn’t enough. At Collective Design this spring, he debuted his first collection in a holistic installation that saw his own highly personal pieces alongside historical ones. Last week, for Sight Unseen OFFSITE, Valle debuted new work in collaboration with Viso Project, a new, sustainability-focused textile studio.
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Our 75+ Favorite Finds From New York Design Week 2018

With the move of Collective Design back to March, NYC x Design — nowadays jokingly referred to as "New York Design Month" — technically shrunk a bit this year to just 15 days long, from the beginning of Egg Collective's Designing Women show to the last day of ICFF. Yet its cornucopia of content was as impressive as ever.
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Week of May 21, 2018

A weekly Saturday recap to share with you our favorite links, discoveries, exhibitions, and more from the past seven days. This week: fresh renderings from Barcelona’s OFFF Festival, a gallery exhibition of a design-world darling, and the 80’s-inspired HQ Of a cute candle company.
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We Asked 13 Designers and 13 High-Profile Creatives to Collaborate for Charity, and the Results Will Surprise You

Since we started Sight Unseen nine years ago, we’ve found ourselves writing again and again about the fertile ground between creative fields. So it wasn’t much of a leap from there to Field Studies, for which we paired 13 furniture and interior designers with 13 creatives in food, fashion, film, art, and music and invited them to create a collaborative object together — all 13 of which are now available to purchase on 1stdibs, with proceeds going to a charity of each pair's choosing.
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